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Elmo’s Alphabet Challenge: The Story Behind the Animation

By Graydon Gordian


On Tuesday, August 14, Sesame Street released “Elmo’s Alphabet Challenge,” our latest home video. In it, Elmo, Abby and Telly get sucked into an animated video game world and have to defeat A.B.C.-more at a number of alphabet-based challenges in order to escape.

The challenges are all spoofs of iconic video games: Pac-man, Guitar Hero and Super Mario Brothers, among others, inspired the levels Elmo and his friends must traverse. The animation was created by Magnetic Dreams, an animation company Sesame Street has been working with for almost a decade. Read More

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Elmo, Abby and Grover Hang Out with Team USA in London

By Graydon Gordian


Elmo, Abby and Grover with U.S. Olympian Reid Priddy and his family.

Playing is far more than fun and games: It helps children develop emotionally, socially and physically. That’s why Elmo, Grover and Abby Cadabby headed to London last week to hang out with U.S. Olympians like Allison Schmitt, Reid Priddy and Dawn Harper. Check out their photos from London! From the look of it, everyone had a great time.  Read More

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August 13, 2012

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Sesame Street Seeking Recurring Character

By Sesame Workshop


We recently announced an open casting call for a new, recurring character on Sesame Street. Here are the details:

Male or female actor, 18-25, fluent in Spanish and English, comfortable with multiple Spanish dialects and accents. Good sense of humor. Must sing well. Actor should be comfortable with both physical and improvisational comedy. Actor should be warm, likable and engaging. Must be prepared to sing a cappella in Spanish and English.

DATE: Monday, August 20th

TIME: 10am – 2pm

LOCATION: Roseland Ballroom, 239 West 52nd Street, New York

Please bring a headshot and resume if you have one.

If you have any further questions, please contact Joe Lopick of McCorkle Casting at joe@mccorklecasting.com.

 

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August 02, 2012

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A Look Into Sesame Workshop’s Digital Media Endeavors

By Dan Lewis


Where there’s a screen, there’s a child. And where there’s a child, there’s an opportunity for an educational experience. In our increasingly fragmented media landscape, this means a necessary foray into all things digital. So naturally, Sesame Workshop is actively engaging children there. Whether it is via web-based games and videos, podcasts, YouTube, or a seemingly endless cornucopia of other platforms, Elmo and his friends will be there.

Our newest feature story here on SesameWorkshop.org describes our efforts in this sector over the last decade both in the United States and abroad. Read it here.

 

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July 27, 2012

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Sesame Workshop Brings Educational Radio to Children in Afghanistan

By Dan Lewis


Baghch-e-Simsim — Sesame Garden in both Dari and Pashto — debuted on two television stations in Afghanistan in December of 2011. With only a small percentage of the five million Afghani children likely to attend Kodakistans (the country’s kindergarten system), Baghch-e-Simsim was designed to be the first step in finding ways to meet the growing need for early childhood education there. And with radio being the most accessible media for Afghan households, a series of radio episodes of Baghch-e-Simsim was the natural next step.

This week, Sesame Workshop and Equal Access International announced 78 such episodes, 39 of which are in Dari and the other half in Pashto. Each 20-minute radio episode features a letter and number of the day, caregiver tips, and of course, the Sesame magic seen around the world.

Speak Dari? You can listen to a clip here. Pashto? Click here.

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July 19, 2012

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Growing Hope Against Hunger and Sesame Workshop writer Chrissy Ferraro nominated for an Emmy!

By Liza Dorison


Congratulations to the Growing Hope Against Hunger team, Chrissy Ferraro and the rest of Sesame Workshop on its two newest Emmy nominations!

Sesame Workshop has been nominated for an Emmy in the Outstanding Children’s Nonfiction, Reality or Reality-Competition Program category.  Growing Hope Against Hunger, made possible by the generous support of Walmart and aired on PBS, makes manifest the invisible crisis in the United States, food insecurity, by introducing a new Muppet named Lily whose family has an ongoing struggle with hunger.  Food insecurity is a growing and difficult issue for adults and children to discuss.  This one hour primetime television special presents families’ personal stories to raise awareness of hunger as well as strategies that have helped these families find resources and grow stronger together.  In this special, Brad Paisley, Kimberly Williams Paisley and the Sesame Street Muppets help families cope and live the healthiest life possible by providing the tools families need and by educating the general population about the widespread issue of hunger and food insecurity in the United States.

In addition, writer Christine Ferraro has been nominated for an Emmy in Writing, Nonfiction Programming for Sesame Street: Growing Hope Against Hunger.  Christine Ferraro has been a writer for Sesame Street since 1994.

Sesame Street: Growing Hope Against Hunger • PBS • Sesame Workshop

Carol-Lynn Parente, Executive Producer

Melissa Dino, Supervising Producer

Mason Rather, Senior Producer

Kevin Clash, Producer

Special thanks to Academy Award winning director and filmmaker Cynthia Wade for her documentary films as part of the special.

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July 17, 2012

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Sesame Street’s Eric Jacobson and Super Grover 2.0 at Comic Con 2012

By Graydon Gordian


Sesame Street performer Eric Jacobson and his good pal Super Grover 2.0 stopped by this year’s Comic Con to bring smiles to the faces of the conventions youngest attendees. From the look of it everyone had a lot of fun!

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July 10, 2012

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Sesame Street’s “Share It Maybe”

By Graydon Gordian


Cookie Monster and the Sesame Workshop team got together to make this video. We hope you all enjoy it!

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July 09, 2012

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The New Season of Prankster Planet Starts Today!

By Graydon Gordian


Sesame Workshop is excited to announce the launch of the second season of The Adventures of The Electric Company on Prankster Planet, the newest segment on our award-winning show The Electric Company.

The Electric Company has evolved since the iconic program first aired in 1971. Since the show was revived in 2009, we have utilized a variety of media to ensure that the show’s rigorously researched educational material, which has a renewed focus on math, helps six to nine-year-olds acquire the academic skills they need to achieve their full potential. Prankster Planet is at the heart of the show’s transmedia approach.

At the end of each episode, Marcus and Jessica will go on an adventure to try and stop tricky prankster Francine from causing chaos. But the story doesn’t end once the show is over. Kids are encouraged to go online to the new Prankster Planet website where they can play games that help them learn simple math equations, graphing, and data collection, representation and analysis.

Since the introduction of Prankster Planet 1.0 last season, millions of kids have visited the show’s website to have fun, interactive adventures, all the while building up their math and literacy skills. The show has won three Emmy’s for Outstanding Children’s Series in a row – every year since it was revived – and was also a recipient of the Parent’s Choice Gold Award for Television.

Click here to learn more about the story of The Electric Company’s revival, or visits PBSKids.org to play the new Prankster Planet 2.0 games.

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June 27, 2012

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‘A Woman in the Boardroom’: A 1978 Interview with Joan Ganz Cooney

By Joan Ganz Cooney



Ed. Note: This interview with Sesame Workshop co-founder Joan Ganz Cooney originally appeared in the 1978 January-February edition of the Harvard Business Review. It has been re-published with the permission of the Harvard Business Review and edited for length. Special thanks goes to Ms. Cooney for taking the time to reflect upon her interview and write an updated introduction, which you can find below.

I find it hard to believe, upon re-reading this interview from Harvard Business Review, that it was published only 34 years ago… As the kids would say, “It’s so last century!” I was among the first women to be asked to join a Fortune 300 corporate board. Today, it is not unusual for major corporations to have two or three women as board members. I was embarrassed to read how afraid I was to offend the sensibilities of the businessmen of that era. I’m happy to say that today men and women interact as equals; Women CEO’s, while still rare in the Fortune 500, exist in much greater numbers than they did in the 70’s and women are almost always in high executive positions. Xerox’s two most recent CEO’s have been women; the current one is African American. So yes, things have changed for the better. We still have a long way to go but there is no question that astonishing progress has been made by women in business.

Harvard Business Review: We’d like to look at several conventional views concerning the question of women at top management and board levels.  The first concerns qualifications. Many people believe that women can’t make the same tough decisions that men can, that they aren’t qualified in the same way that men are. What is your response to that view?

Cooney: Well, I don’t think there’s anything to it in one way, but in other ways there’s a great deal to it. Little girls and young women are trained on both conscious and unconscious bases, by the family and by society, to “get along”—to be diligent and dutiful, to take instructions from older people, first from their parents and then from men. Some men are comfortable in that role, merely following instructions, but virtually all women are comfortable in it.

To make decisions women have to debrief themselves, which causes an enormous amount of anxiety and stress, to understand that they can take action—can, for instance, perform the necessary surgery if it must be performed. Such surgery includes eliminating a department, eliminating, here at Children’s Television Workshop, a show, eliminating personnel; sometimes for budgetary reasons, sometimes for competency reasons.

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